Medicaid Personal Care Attendant Program

Medicaid Personal Care Attendant Program

Personal Care Attendants (PCAs) are a key element in a Medicaid-funded long-term care plan. A PCA can help the client with tasks that would otherwise require the skilled care of a licensed healthcare professional. The scope of work of a PCA varies depending on the program and the state’s rules.

Medicaid’s Cash and Counseling principle

In its Cash and Counseling principle for personal care attendant programs, Medicaid encourages caregivers to employ friends and family to provide care for their Medicaid beneficiaries. This has many benefits, including improved health outcomes and better care quality. Participants in this type of program also report fewer unmet needs.

In addition to allowing caregivers to charge a lower fee than traditional personal care assistance, Cash & Counseling allows participants to  manage  their  own  care services. The model was rolled out in 15 states, with the support of the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation and the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. The demonstration program tested the effectiveness of the program with a small sample, while the replication phase tested the cash and counseling approach to managing services.


Personal Care Attendants (PCA) provide companionship to disabled adults, who may be too ill to care for themselves. They provide assistance with instrumental activities of daily living such as bathing, dressing, and grooming. A PCA also provides transportation to medical providers and other services.

Besides providing companionship, these professionals also assist clients with household activities, such as bill payments and housekeeping. They accompany clients to social events, and arrange transportation to medical appointments. The role also requires the caregiver to keep a hygienic and safe environment. Applicants for the position must have at least two years of experience providing personal care. They must be physically fit and be able to complete housekeeping duties.

Job description

A personal care attendant is a caregiver who assists the elderly, disabled, and those recovering from an illness with daily activities. Their duties include assisting with personal hygiene, preparing healthy meals, and providing mobility support. A personal care attendant may also be employed in a residential care facility or retirement community, depending on the specific needs of the patient.

A Personal Care Attendant also runs errands, typically shopping for groceries and other household items. They may also facilitate meetings and appointments for their patients. In addition, they assist with personal hygiene, and may even assist with transportation.

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